Cornelius John
May 28, 2021
I was not offered money, nor will I accept – shooting victim

Cornelius John, the businessman who was shot at his home on April 13 this year says no one has approached him to offer him money to not pursue his assault claim.

“No one has ever approached me and asked me anything because this leg that I have is priceless and even as a gift to me from God, it is not for sale, it is not for money. As a Christian the bible say the love of money is the root of all evil,” John said at a May 21 news briefing in Kingstown.

John, a Diamond resident says that while at his home, he was beaten, shot and threatened.

He told reporters at the briefing held at the office of his lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste that Senator Ashelle Morgan was present during the incident but he does not know who shot him.

It is alleged that Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (ADPP) Karim Nelson, is also a person of interest in the incident. He has taken leave from his job to allow for an investigation which the police say is taking place.  A third man said to have been at the scene when John was shot, has not yet been identified.

Affirming his faith as a Christian, John told reporters that even if approached, he is not going to compromise his stance with God for money.

“Then I would be bound for hell. I am not in love with money…. I haven’t been approached,” he stressed.

He also noted that his decision to pursue the matter is not political since from the age of 18, he began to support Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who was at the time, the leader of the United Peoples Movement (UPM).

Dr Gonsalves now heads the Unity Labour Party (ULP) and is Prime Minister. Morgan was appointed as a ULP senator last year.

“From 18 to 62, I support Ralph Gonsalves…changing over to the ULP, I never waiver for support but as a citizen of the country, it is necessary to realise that justice needs to be done in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It is not about ULP or NDP, but as a citizen, it is about that,” John said.

Meanwhile, Bacchus-Baptiste says John is entitled to compensation but that is a civil matter.

“To even try to take money to drop a criminal matter is against the law, it is an offence and the rumour is malicious and designed to get people to drop the issue…to believe the matter is settled and behind us,” Bacchus-Baptiste commented.

In the meantime, John said he is still at a loss about the reason the three persons who were present when he was shot entered his property and he is also at a loss as to what prompted the attack.

“It have witness, they could say there was no one who witness, my neighbourhood is very close, anything that goes on people see, probably some of them would not want to talk but anything goes on people see,” John said while adding that he still feels pain in his stomach, left side and other parts of his body.

He noted that from his knowledge, no weapons were recovered from the scene, but a spent shell was.
His lawyer said that there is a witness who gave a statement to the police.

Bacchus-Baptiste said the witness was interviewed after a May 4 letter she wrote to the Commissioner of Police (COP) Colin John.

“Following my letter where I pointed out that there was an eyewitness and asked that she be interviewed, up to three weeks, four weeks the witness was not interviewed, but from my understanding the witness has now been interviewed about a week now but still nothing,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.